Because many scams are operated by criminals overseas, once you’ve given them any money it is very rare to get it back. That’s why it’s vital you protect yourself by not getting involved in the first place.
Ignore uninvited investment offers
In New Zealand, it is illegal to sell financial products through a cold call.
If you do receive a call, letter or email from a stranger about an investment opportunity, hang up, throw it away or block them.
If they keep trying, call us on 0800 434 566 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or ask your phone or email service provider to block them.
If they become abusive or threatening, call the police.
Do not invest through offshore, online businesses
Financial service businesses with no offices in New Zealand are harder to regulate and police as they’re remote and not as visible to the FMA.
It is often impossible to recover your money if an overseas investment turns out to be a scam. We cannot help you if things go wrong.
If a business has no office in NZ, or says or sounds like it is overseas, it’s even more important you do your research before you invest: Where are they? Is it a country with tough financial regulations like ours? How can you be sure they are who, and where, they say they are?
Use a licensed or registered financial service provider
Financial service businesses that are on the official New Zealand Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR) generally have a place of business in New Zealand and, if providing services to retail customers, must be a member of an approved dispute resolution scheme. That makes it much easier to sort things out if something goes wrong.
Only advisers who are licensed by the FMA and registered on the FSPR can provide personalised financial advice to NZ retail customers.
Anyone offering binary options or contracts for difference (CFDs) to people in New Zealand must also be licensed by the FMA, no matter where they are based.
If providers want to be licensed by us, they must first prove they are capable of providing that service to investors.
They must meet high standards and we monitor them to ensure they are meeting their obligations, and if they are not we can and do take enforcement action